Monthly Archives

August 2018


Fake News and Fake History

The “Fake News” appellation has been applied to just about every outlet that presents itself as something on the order of a news outlet, manned (yes--the word) by what are christened as journalists. The ill-use of the “J-Word” provides enough tidings for an essay a yard and a half long, but that is another write for another day (Charly Reese…
Paul H. Yarbrough
August 31, 2018

History as a (Leftist) Weapon

There is a tendency for each generation to assume its opinions are the ultimate correct opinions. But each generation's beliefs are typically modified by succeeding generations. Unfortunately, societal structures are sometimes altered based on contemporary notions that lose credence over time. This is the case with Social Justice Warriors in this generation. They demand that whatever doesn't suit present-day social…
Gail Jarvis
August 30, 2018

Robert E. Lee vs. Twitter Historians

In June 2017, The Atlantic published a hit-piece on Robert E. Lee titled "The Myth of the Kindly General Lee." The article made the rounds on Leftist echo chamber social media accounts and quickly found favor with the popular Leftist Twitter historians, a collection of "distinguished professors," some without a substantial publication record, who like to trumpet their status as "actual…
Brion McClanahan
August 29, 2018
Review Posts

Union At All Costs

A Review of Union At All Costs: From Confederation to Consolidation by John M. Taylor (Booklocker, 2016). Most of the time, finding historical gems requires a lot of work and often long hours of arduous research. On rare occasions, they just fall into your lap. It is even more unusual for someone to simply drop one onto your plate. However,…
Samuel W. Mitcham
August 28, 2018

Revisiting the “Cornerstone Speech”

Most mainstream historians point to the “Cornerstone” speech by Alexander Stephens as the clearest piece of evidence that slavery and white supremacy alone were the reasons for Southern secession. After all, most transcriptions show Stephens having stated that the Confederate government was founded on the “great physical, philosophical, and moral truth” of white superiority. A major quote that the historians…
Michael Martin
August 27, 2018

Podcast Episode 135

The Week in Review at the Abbeville Institute, August 20-24, 2018. Topics: Jimmy Carter, Silent Sam, Confederate Monuments, Slavery, Political Correctness, Abraham Lincoln
Brion McClanahan
August 25, 2018

Lincoln on Mars

There is a 1909 “Lincoln penny” attached to the probe arm of Curiosity, a unit of currency, as it were, stuck to its palm. On the face of it, this doesn’t seem such a remarkable idea, but on the coin there are three inscriptions: “In God We Trust,” “Liberty,” and the date. That money should precede us in the exploration…
Malcolm McNeill
August 24, 2018

A Battle for Western Civilization and the South

On Monday night, August 20, 2018, approximately 200 to 250 raucous demonstrators gathered in a mob on the campus of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and proceeded to tear down the century-old statue, “Silent Sam,” a monument memorializing the over 250 university students who fought and died during the War Between the States. University police, whose primary goal is…
Boyd Cathey
August 23, 2018

Silent Sam and Me

In September of 1961, I left my job at a basket factory in Wilmington, North Carolina and hitch-hiked up to Chapel Hill to become a student there. I followed in the path of UNC’s very first student, a boy named Hinton James, who had famously walked those roads up from Pender County back in 1789. As befits the first student…
Ben Jones
August 22, 2018
Review Posts

A Society With Slaves

A review Slave and Free on Virginia’s Eastern Shore by Kirk Mariner (Onancok, VA: Miona Publications, 2014). The book can be purchased by emailing Miona Publications. One of the ironies that plague the proponents of the “South is about slavery and slavery is about the South” school of history is the lack of knowledge we possess regarding the everyday lives and social…
John Devanny
August 21, 2018

The Last republican President

Jimmy Carter may have been the last Jeffersonian to be president. A recent article in the Washington Post labeled him the "Un-Celebrity President." In either case, Carter is a reflection of a people and a place. He is the most authentic man elected president since Calvin Coolidge, and like Coolidge a true Christian gentleman. At the very minimum, Carter represented the…
Brion McClanahan
August 20, 2018

Podcast Episode 134

The Week in Review at the Abbeville Institute, August 13-17, 2018. Topics: Reconciliation, Southern music, Southern culture, agrarianism, Ronnie Van Zant, Wendell Berry
Brion McClanahan
August 18, 2018

End of an Era

I was saddened to hear that Phil Harris had died. I knew the man. You might say we were old friends. As a matter of fact, we first met in 1954 in Monterey, California. I was attending the Army Language School, learning Russian, and Phil was playing in the Bing Crosby Pro-Am tournament. His professional partner was Dutch Harrison, a…
Thomas Landess
August 17, 2018

The Sounds of the Mississippi Delta and Appalachia

Because we live in such a hurried time, we hear countless “noises” but have little time to appreciate actual “sounds.” Sound is a sensation that you can feel, not just something you can hear. To understand this idea, consider how some musicians have actually played concerts for the deaf, who cannot hear the music but still feel the vibrations. These…
Michael Martin
August 16, 2018

Anything Is Nice If It Come From Dixieland

In October 1901, President Theodore Roosevelt invited Booker T. Washington to dine at the executive mansion. This was an unprecedented move. No African-American had ever been asked to dine with the president, and while neither Roosevelt or his staff said much of the event, it was surely done in the spirit of reconciliation and Roosevelt's desire to be "the people's…
Brion McClanahan
August 15, 2018
Review Posts

What Are People For?

A review of What Are People For? by Wendell Berry (North Point Press, 1990) "We should love life," Dostoyevski once said, "more than the idea of life." It is this concreteness, this rootedness, that seemingly inspirits the life and writings of Wendell Berry, whose most recent collection of essays, What Are People For?, further establishes him as one of the…
Tom Rash
August 14, 2018

The Southern Muse of Ronnie Van Zant

The 1970’s were an interesting time in the South. The 1970's were the last time Southerners could be Southern without feeling the need to apologize for, or be ironic about, their Southern identity. In fact, in the 1970's, it seemed to actually go a little beyond this. We shouldn’t push this too far, but in 1970’s America there seemed to…
Jeff Rogers
August 13, 2018

Podcast Episode 133

The Week in Review at the Abbeville Institute, August 6-10, 2018 Topics: the War, Political Correctness, Neoconservatives, Reconstruction, Southern Culture, Southern Literature.
Brion McClanahan
August 11, 2018

The Southern Saga

In the book The Mystery of the Wonder-Worker of Ostrog, the main character, Mladjen, a fictional representation of the modern Serb uprooted from his traditions by the lingering effects of Communism (who is very much akin to many of those inhabiting the New South, shorn of so much of their past by the all-too-present effects of Communism’s alter-ego, Capitalism), has…
Walt Garlington
August 10, 2018

Causes of the “Civil War”

In a PBS interview seven years ago historian and Harvard University president Drew Gilpin Faust identified slavery as the cause of the Civil War. “Historians are pretty united on the cause of the Civil War being slavery,” she said before adding, . . . “when the various states announced their plans for secession, they uniformly said that the main motivating factor was…
Philip Leigh
August 9, 2018

Southward Returning/Sanctuary

Southward Returning To you, Virginia, Tennessee, To Georgia’s red roads, to the past That binds the delta and the sea, Your Southern sons return at last. No more the always going forth From ruin and our old regret, No more the sundering of faiths By some who taught us to forget. For us, the long remembering Of all our hearts…
Donald Davidson
August 8, 2018
Review Posts

The Power of Memory: How to Remember America’s Most Traumatic Crisis

A review of  Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory by David Blight (Harvard University Press, 2001). In Race and Reunion, historian David Blight recounts the first fifty years after the Civil War in order to describe how Americans of all backgrounds remembered the experiences and lessons of the conflict.  He contends that three distinct visions of Civil War memory…
Josh Phillips
August 7, 2018

The Death of Historical Accuracy

In case you haven’t heard, there is a new “conservative” film out; it is titled “Death of a Nation: Can We Save America a Second Time?” It’s director and screenwriter is Dinesh D’Souza, the somewhat pompous, word-measuring figure who occasionally shows up on Fox to talk in pious tones about “conservatism.” He is the movie producer who, by his own…
Boyd Cathey
August 6, 2018

Podcast Episode 132

The Week in Review at the Abbeville Institute, July 30 - Aug 3, 2018 Topics: the War, Abraham Lincoln, myth-making, Southern culture, Southern history.
Brion McClanahan
August 4, 2018

Lead Belly’s Southern Roots

Sometime around 1939, Lead Belly sang the song Daddy I’m Coming Back to You, which features the interesting lyrics: “I’m dreaming tonight of an old Southern town, the best friend I ever had...I’ve had my way, but now I’ll stay, I long for you and for home.” The song was a tribute to Jimmie Rodgers, who is often considered one…
Michael Martin
August 3, 2018

July 4 Comes and Goes, but Doesn’t Square with The Swamp

“Living in Washington, you can't take politics too seriously. I draw the line at honesty. I have no time for political hacks who say things they don't believe because they get paid to.” Tucker Carlson My opinion on Trump’s election is that those who voted for him (by states, as required) was because those people who voted knew, and know,…
Paul H. Yarbrough
August 2, 2018

Lost Cause Myth or Yankee Propaganda

Whether it's the Civil War, War Between the States, the War for Southern Independence or Lincoln's War, this extremely important period of American history continues to resonate powerfully over 150 years later. And with American Veterans monuments and artwork being censored and removed throughout the country, some might even say that Reconstruction and the fight over Jeffersonian ideals vs. Hamiltonianism never…
Lewis Liberman
August 1, 2018